It’s been a tough year in the USA. Actually, it has been a tough year all over the world. So even though today is Thanksgiving in the USA, some of us may be wondering what we should be thankful for.
We’ve had more issues that test us this year than most. COVID-19 is a blight in the USA and all over the world. It seems like we’ve had more challenges in 2020 than in the entirety of the other part of the decade. So what’s there to be thankful for? Actually, quite a lot. If we spend a few minutes thinking about what’s really important to us, I think it becomes quite clear for all the things we can be thankful for.
Take, for example, my household. It has been a very tumultuous year. Some pretty good things happened, and some pretty awful things occurred as well. We’d be lying if we said that we breezed through the year. But what it has done is to focus me on all the good things that happened and try to find some good in the bad things that happened.
The biggest thing that happened this year is the loss of Kim’s dad and my father in law, Dick. He was one of the best people I ever met. I learned so much from him, and even though I wasn’t a part of his blood family, I always felt loved. He told me that on many occasions.
So when he told us that he had cancer, we were shocked and hurt. It didn’t take too long, and about six weeks later, he was gone. It was very hard. Only a few weeks earlier, he had driven 2 hours to visit us in Vermont and stay for lunch. And so quickly we would never see him again. He was gone and never coming back.
It’s been a couple of weeks since his passing, and I’ve tried to find some good in what happened. And after some soul searching, I figured out what I could be thankful for.
What I am thankful for
First, I am thankful that I fell in love with his daughter and became a part of his family. I am thankful for all the things he taught me. I am also thankful for the things he let me teach him.
Shortly after his wife Mae passed, Dick asked me what I thought about him getting a motorcycle. I told him if he wanted to ride, I’d be happy to help. It wasn’t a week later when he called me and asked me to pick up his new motorcycle and bring it to his house since he didn’t have a motorcycle license. Of course, I told him I would be happy to. And thereafter, he took the MSF course and got his license. Oh, did I tell you he was 65 at the time?
We spent many days riding with him, and I could tell he really, really enjoyed riding. And the fact of the matter is that both Kim and I enjoyed riding with him as well. So I am thankful for all the times that we rode together, all the sights we saw, and all the experiences we had. Dick was 89 years old when he passed, and I am thankful for the 40 years we had together.
I am also thankful that he didn’t suffer or linger. He quickly became ill and passed not so much later. And although his time after he was diagnosed was short, I am so thankful that there was enough time. Enough time for his family to rally around him, spend time with him, and make sure that he knew he was loved and that we were thankful for having him share his life with us.
Sometimes, bad things teach us something. Dick’s passing taught me how good life is. How even when things are bad, there are still things to be thankful for.
Thankful for the ADVRider community
I am also thankful for this motorcycling community. We don’t always get along, but we are all brothers and sisters in this gigantic extended family. I am so thankful for being a part of the ADVRider community, for people like Baldy, David Rudolf, and Paul William that make sure that the ADVRider community flourishes when they could have let it die.
I am so thankful for the messages I receive at times from community members saying that my writing gives them enjoyment or perhaps a brief respite from the day’s pressures. I can’t tell you how much you all mean to me. I am very, very thankful for you.
So if you feel that there’s little to be thankful for, take a few minutes, look around you. Look for the little joys you have in your life and be thankful that you are still here and able to find things to be thankful for. Sometimes it’s hard, but they are there.
So in closing, Kim and I wish you and your families all the very best and a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving. And for those of you outside the USA, we wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving when it occurs in your part of the world. Thank you all for spending some time with us at ADVRider.
And most of all, thank you, Dick Phillips, for sharing your final lesson in life with me. To be thankful for life and all the little things that go with it.